Monday, August 31, 2009

"The Princess Adelina"

Well, I just read this book today and it was very good! So I thought we could do a bit of a book discussion on here. :-) Now, I know you guys probably haven't read this, so I figured y'all can give your thoughts on whatever us ladies decide to say about it. :-) So first I'm just gonna tell y'all what I liked best about it.

The whole book is great! But let me explain what I liked best. In the beginning when Adelina first met Gisilhar, they were both attracted to one another. And it gives you the idea that Adelina was often thinking about this free lord and she had dreams of marriage just like any other girl would. But she doesn't end up married to him, and you notice that those thoughts and dreams about Gisilhar in the past caused some trouble in her marriage later. For me, it kind of reminded me once again just how important it is to keep your emotions in check and watch our thoughts about guys/girls. In the book, Hedan (Adelina's husband) was very jealous of what he saw, or thought he saw between Adelina and Gisilhar. And It's not very much farther in the story before Adelina realizes that Gisilhar is not who she thought he was. I guess even the best of us can be blinded by emotions, but just think of how much smoother our marriages would be if we didn't have to deal with all kinds of emotional baggage from our past.

All in all, it was a great book and I loved it! Please comment with any thoughts or questions. If y'all enjoy doing this book discussion, I'll start doing them more often with some other great books on relationships. :-)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Emotional Purity...

I know I already posted on Emotional purity on my other blog about a month or two ago, but I wanted to post about it again for a few reasons. 1) I don't think you will ever stop needing encouragement in this area. 2) I want it to be on this blog as well. 3) God placed it on my heart again this week, so I want to follow his leading and go over it again. So I'm going to start by posting a small part out of "Before you meet Prince Charming" by Sarah Mally, but I am going to change it so that it will fit for both guys and girls. :-)

Emotional Purity is hardly even considered possible in our present society. But think of it this way: How would your future spouse feel if they knew that some other guy/girl had known your deepest thoughts, dreams, fears, and emotions? What would they think if some other person had known you even better than he/she knows you? Or how would you like if some other guy/girl had dozens of long, deep, intimate conversations with your spouse and knew practically everything there was to know about him/her? Save all your "firsts" not just your first "kiss". Some people think casually and think they might be having fun now but how will that affect their marriages later? A list of some meaningful "firsts" that could happen and should be shared with that special someone:

  • First expression of interest

  • First words of affection or love

  • First gift given or received

  • First romantic look into his eyes

  • First trip together

  • First special song, place, event, or memory

  • First ring

  • First dinner date

  • First personal letter expressing emotions

  • First "I love you"

  • First piece of your heart given

  • First serious or ongoing correspondence with a young man or woman

  • First special affectionate nicknames or actions

  • First kiss

That is not a list of rules but a list to make you think. Many young people seem to want to get close to the line as possible and still remain pure. But looking at the big picture of our lives ought to motivate us to have the opposite perspective. The question is how much can I save for him/her, how many little special and meaningful "firsts" will I have to share with him/her? It is not that we are merely trying to avoid the worst, but rather that we desire to archive the best!
I believe that emotional purity is just as important as physical purity, but so much harder to do! The smallest thought that is not pure will continue to grow and in the end that thought will take you so much farther then you ever realized. We need to be so careful of guarding our minds! Have you ever thought about some of the movies and music that parents hand to their teenagers? And then they act so surprised when they find out that their 16 year old daughter is pregnant. Country music is a good example...not only is the music ungodly, but the words are either talking about picking up or breaking up. That is not going to keep your mind pure! Think about the music you listen to, the movies you watch, and the books you they ALL honor and glorify God or are you having to struggle to keep your mind from thinking on the wrong things?

Okay, so I got off on a rabbit trail there, but I hope we as young adults can understand just how important this is. Not only can movies, music, and books ruin our emotional purity...but thinking about a certain guy/girl too much can do the same thing. I don't care if you're already engaged to the person, you still need to keep your thoughts about them pure until your married. And learning how to do that now will help you stay faithful to your spouse later. Just because you have a crush on a guy/girl doesn't mean its okay to have wrong thoughts about them. People often say its normal to have a crush and to leave it alone. Well, is normal, but that doesn't mean it should be left alone. I don't think it should be encouraged at all, but those young people need to learn to control their thoughts and emotions. Believe me, I know it's a lot easier said then done. Let me just say this again so I'm clear...It is very normal for someone to be attracted to someone and to have a crush. BUT...that is not a reason to let your thoughts run wild! Instead of thinking about him/her all of the time, pray about it. Now, don't go and pray "God, please let me marry him/her! Please!!" but why not try something like this "Lord, please be with him/her and guide and direct both of our lives. Help me to keep a pure heart and mind, and guard and keep my heart until you show me the right person." I realize that there is nothing wrong with praying for things we want, but I think when we pray for God's will, we end up realizing that his will is what we wanted all along.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Arranged Marriage?

You know, when I was younger I often thought courtship was just a way for parents to arrange a marriage for their children. I just really didn't know what courtship was, now that I have a greater understanding of it I realized that it is an arranged marriage. Only it's arranged by God Almighty, and that is just fine by me. I think God can pick a far better husband for me then my parents or I could. :-) But even knowing that, don't you kind of wonder just when, where, and how you'll meet and get to know your spouse? I do! Now, I know that at least all of the girls will know where I'm coming from (considering girls tend to "dream" a bit more then guys do. lol), but I honestly find myself wondering how this will happen. Lets try and figure this out a bit. :-)

We know from movies and such that out in the world, it pretty much always starts with physical attraction. But I think we know that isn't the right way. The world goes Body, Soul, and then maybe Spirit. So if your not just going to fall in love with a guy/girl by what his/her body is then how? Well, I believe God intends it to be Spirit, Soul, and then Body.

Now, I'm not saying that your shouldn't be physical attracted to your future spouse. You should and will be, but that is not the most important part. The joining together of two people in marriage needs to happen in the proper order: Spiritual first, physical last. That is why I say no touching until after marriage. Your heart and soul should be invested in the other person long before your body ever is.

Here is an example of how your courtship might go. Lets just say this is how I pray it will work out for me. :-)

1) Observe.
-When the Lord brings someone into your path that interests you, your first step is not to show interest or get all excited and go tell your friends. Just watch. In my post "A rather interesting thought" I gave a list of some questions, use that list when watch the guy/girl. You can learn a lot about someone character by just watching them.

2) Acquainted as Casual Friends.
-If God wants to bring two people together, He will give opportunities for them to get to know each other in natural settings. Such as church, school, work, common friendships, camps, or ministries. God doesn't need anyone else to play "matchmaker", he does a good job of that himself. :-) You'll learn more about a person by watching and being around them in real life then you ever would on a date. Anyone can be sweet and kind on a date but that doesn't mean thats who they really are.

3) Young Man takes initiative.
-Guys: I know I've said this before, but don't go the the girl first, go the her Daddy. Or even talk to your Daddy and let him go to her Daddy before you do. I know of a lot of couples who have done that and it has worked out really well. Either way, if you have prayed about it and know that God wants you to start a relationship with this young lady then it's your move. You have to take the initiative here.
-Girls: Yes, I know this is the part where you're either crying cause your so happy or jumping for joy! ;-) But before you let your emotions get too involved, this is the time when your parents should get to know the young man a little better. Ask him questions and such. But if the young man meets "Daddy's qualifications" then its a good time for the two families to get to know each other better.

4) Close Friendship
-Now, this is when you are really getting to know each other. You might email, text, phone calls, dinner's with family, or what ever else. But you will not make it thru this part if you don't have convictions of your own. This is the time when your flesh is going to try and run you, but in order to keep a pure mind and body you must have strong convictions that will keep your flesh from taking over. Don't let this just be a time when your just being together, let be a time of doing together. Serve together in ministries so that you know that you will be able to serve God side by side. Also, use this time to discuss important subjects such as: your purpose in life, your future ministry goals, your doctrine, your convictions, your views on family and child raising, and your spiritual walk. It is still best to avoid intimate talks until you are engaged.

5) Engagement.
-Many long talks have already occurred, but now are some of the most special times and a greater level of intimacy (not physical) as you enjoy the feeling of belonging to one another. You are about to be married to one another, so you will need a lot of time to talk. BUT, you still need to be careful not to put yourselves into tempting situations. I know some couples will hug, kiss, and hold hands when they are engaged, but I strongly recommend waiting. It would be so much more special if the first time you hold hands is when your in front of the church on that day and if your first kiss was at the wedding alter.

6) Marriage.
-For now, I'm only going to give one thought here: Our purpose for getting married should not be to get, but rather to give. We can be sure that if we follow God's plan for this relationship, it will bring us such fulfillment and joy.

Remember: God has a plan that goes beyond what we can imagine, so just trust Him.

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
Ephesians 3:20-21

*Some material is taken from "Before you meet Prince Charming" by Sarah Mally and "Just Friends" by Cary Schmidt and Mike Ray*
**Feel free to leave any thoughts you have. I would love to get a discussion going with y'all. :-)**

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why "No Touch"?

People often ask me "Well, why can't you even hold a guys hand?" Well, to tell you the truth, I can do whatever I want...but just because I can do something doesn't mean its right or that I even want to. When asked this, I always gave 1 Corin. 7:1. And I still stand by that. BUT...I never really knew how to explain it and not be too blunt. Well, I read a book a few months ago called "Just Friends" by Mike Ray and Cary Schmidt. The book is more for the younger teenager, meaning that it encourages you to not worry about a dating type of relationship yet and to just be friends. Where as, when you reach a level of maturity (and I'm not saying age, because I know some 12 year olds that are much more mature then some 20 year olds!) that you feel God does indeed want you to marry, well there are somethings to consider and pray about that a 13 year old really doesn't need to focus on yet. But even at that age, you should still focus on a friendship first. Your spouse should be your very best friend, so why not work on the friend part before your married? I would encourage any young teenager to read that book, and even the older ones too.

Now back to my topic, I loved the two chapters on "no touch" in the book!! Okay, so lets start with may have already decided that your first kiss will be on your wedding day, if so great! But you don't think there is anything wrong with holding hands or hugging...let me just say, if you give an inch, it will go a mile! I'm not saying that physical affection is a bad thing, its a very good thing. BUT, its something God intended for marriage, and marriage only. And for that reason, I don't believe any touching should be done until the wedding day, not even during engagement. See, a physical relationship is a special and important thing, but that is not the marriage. Yes, its a important part, but being physical never held a marriage together. Being physical is an expression of what holds a marriage together. This is how they explain it in the book: "In marriage, commitment and character are like the steel girders of a skyscraper --what the walls and finishings hold to. The physical act of marriage is supposed to be supported by the steel structure of commitment and integrity." So if God is still building your foundation, you'll be ruining it by being physical before marriage. And by showing you have the self control and are faithful to your future spouse enough to wait, you are proving to your spouse that you will also be faithful in the marriage. If you can't control your desires and save yourself for one person, how are you going to be faithful to one person once your married?

Okay, I know I've went on for a while (and I could probably keep but I just want to share this last thought with your before I go.
Guys: If you touch a girl, you think she's experiencing the same surface pleasure you are, but thats not so. She's investing her heart in you, and since your not married, you don't own her heart, or her body. Keeping your hands off a girl show great respect for her heart, her Daddy, her God, and her future husband (even if its you!).
Girls: Unless a guy is committing himself to you at a wedding alter, he doesn't own your heart. Therefore, physical touch is not love, its just physical pleasure. He may tell you his heart is invested too, but know this: a guy who will take advantage of your body before marriage does not really love you.

Saving your body and guarding your heart now, will make you a much better spouse later!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Blog Award

Jennifer over at God's Been Good awarded this blog a pretty blog award. :-) Thanks Jennifer! Now, I have to list 7 things you might not know about me, and then choose 7 friends to give the award to. :-) Now, I'm not going to make a habit of doing posts like this on this blog, but I thought it'd be okay once in awhile. So hopefully y'all don't mind, and I will still post again in a few days.

First, the 7 things about me...(this is gonna be hard. lol)

1) I hate water. lol Water games, rides, and swimming have never made sense to me, just seems like a big waste of time. :-)

2) I listen to and sing Christmas music as early as October. I always try to wait until after Thanksgiving (which is my favorite holiday), but I don't like only getting to listen to and sing that music for a month. :-) Such great songs, and we never listen to them past December.

3) This one may be a surprise, seeing as I write all of the time...but I don't talk much. :-) I talk to my family, but other then them, you'll have a hard time getting me to really talk. I'm good at listening tho. ;-)

4) I LOVE books!! Oh, wait you probably knew that one already. ;-)

5) Umm, I'm turning 19 in about a month. Which I honestly am having a hard time believing. Seems like I just turned 18.

6) Oh, we are going to North Carolina for vacation in Sept. To the beach! We're leaving the day after my birthday. What an awesome b-day present! :-)

7) Aside from my family, my cousin Joe was probably the best friend I ever had growing up. With him being here to visit, we have gotten a ton of chances to talk about the time we spent together growing up. Even he said that we were their best friends, just as much as they were ours. All those years of thinking I had no friends, and here the best one I had was right in front of my face. :-) Shows how much I paid attention. lol for the people I want to award.

1) Rebecca at "A Rather Unusual Maiden for God"

2) Rachel at "HopeJourney"

3) Amber at "JoyfulHomemaker"

4) Jennifer at "Maiden in Waiting"

5) Sharon at "My Delightful Diary"

6) Ginger at "Pieces Of My Heart"

7) Becca at "Virtuous Daughters"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Rather Interesting Thought

I am often ask "Well, what would you if a guy asked you out?" In all honestly, since I've never been "asked out", I wouldn't know. And I honestly don't want to be "asked out"...why do people call it that anyways?? "Going out"? Where? I don't believe in dating anyways, so I hope the right guy has the same standard and would be asking to court me, not just go out on a casual dinner date. All that said, what should a girl do when a guy asks to date or court them? And how should guys go about doing that? Well, let me give y'all some Do's and Don't's.

1) Girls, send him to your father. - Guys, ask her Daddy FIRST!
-Girls: If the guy asks your Dad first, then it will show that he respects you and your parents. And trust me, you want the guy to respect you AND your parents!
-Guys: You need to have respect for her parents, they could be your in-laws someday. And by showing that you respect he an her family, it will increase the respect she has for you. And yes, you want her to respect you as well.

2) Guys, spend some serous time in prayer BEFORE asking her. - Girls, tell him you need to pray about it first, and then PRAY.
-Guys: Don't make this a casual thing, pray and make sure you have God's okay before entering a relationship with this young lady. You could marry this girl, don't make it a light thing.
-Girls: Like I told the guys, it isn't a light things, so don't make it one. If your going to "casual date" then fine, don't pray about it. But if your striving to follow God, it shouldn't be a casual thing...its something that needs a lot of prayer.

3) Girls, just because he's the first one that asks to court you, doesn't mean he is the right guy. Guys, just because you think she's pretty doesn't mean shes the one for you.
-Guys/Girls: You shouldn't base the guy or girl you have a relationship with by carnal things. Here are some thing to consider about the guy/girl:
  • Is he/she a born again Christian?
  • Does he/she faithfully share the gospel with others?
  • Is he/she always truthful?
  • Is he/she committed to NEVER get divorced?
  • Does he/she honor their parents?
  • Does he/she have a daily walk with God, such as Bible reading, prayer, memorization, and giving?
  • Does he/she make all decisions based upon the Word of God?
  • Would you be happy to have he/she as the parent of your children?
  • Is he/she diligent in their work, and wise with the use of their money?
  • Is God calling you in the same direction of ministry?
  • Is he/she willing to admit a wrong and ask forgiveness?
  • Is he/she a humble and willing servant?
  • Is he/she willing to stand for Christ, even if it means standing alone?
  • Does he/she respond to criticism in a "Christlike" way?
  • Is he/she kind, thoughtful, and gracious?

You know, girls often have a problem with letting the guy lead, but what these girls don't realize is that we have the easier part. God made Adam first, and then made Eve as a help meet. Two things: Guys, you need to lead...that means you ask the girl, not the other way around. Girls, let him lead! Don't you dare go up to a guy and "ask him out" or ask him to court you! It's not that way God intended it. "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Gen. 2:24) See, the guy makes the first move...not the girl. :-)

Okay, I'm done rambling...I just leave you with one more thought. :-) Girls: If you want a great husband, find a guy who is loving and respectful towards his mother. Guys: If you want a great wife, find a girl who is loving and willingly submissive towards her father. (And by "willingly", I mean she enjoys helping and working with/under her father.)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What To Do When God Says "It's Not Time Yet, Just Wait"

You know, the first thing people think when God tells them to wait is "But Waiting is TOO HARD!!" Well, in all honesty, yes it is. I don't know that God has ever asked anything harder of me, yet I wholeheartedly believe that outcome will be well worth it. No body ever wants to wait for anything anymore...I mean, think about it. If you microwave your food because its faster then cooking on the stove...does the microwaved food EVER taste better then what you cooked on the stove? NO! Or if you get tired of waiting for your clothes to dry so you take them out of the dryer before it buzzes, your going to have damp clothes instead of nice warm dry ones. Well, pretty much everything I can think of turns out better if you wait. Not only that, but if God says wait, why not just trust him and wait.

Here are some consequences we'll face if we don't obey and wait...

1) We miss God's lessons
- God gives us a season of waiting to teach us things, and if we skip past that season we will miss whatever lessons he had to teach us.
2) We miss God's best
- God has the right person already picked out for you, and if you rush things you may end up marrying the wrong person. God wants the very best for you, wait and let him give you that.
3) We miss God's help
- Think about Abraham and Sarah, God had promised them a son but because they took matters into their own hands and didn't want the made a huge mistake the caused a lifetime of trouble. You should want God's help more then you want your own way in these matters.
4) We miss God's opportunities
- You know, by waiting not waiting on God, we miss a great opportunity to be an example to the world. What a testimony to be able to wait and rely on God.

Okay, now that I gave you the bad side of waiting, I'll give you the good points too. :-)

I. You will not be ashamed. (Is.49:23)
II. The Lord will strengthen your heart. (Ps. 27:14)
III. You shall inherit the earth. (Ps. 37:9)
IV. You strength will be renewed. (Is. 40:31)
V. The Lord will be good to you. (Lam. 3:25)

Although waiting is hard, it is necessary. Waiting takes faith. Nobody wants to just sit around and wait, and Gods not asking you to just sit around and do nothing...its more that you need to rest in him and put your complete faith in him. If God's asking you to wait, then ask him to help you wait and give you something to do while you wait. Pour your life into a ministry, into your family, into studying more...whatever your feel God wants you to do, do it with faith! Why trade a lifetime of love for a dollar's worth of pleasure now? God has a plan for your life, don't trade that in for the devil's plan.

A few tips to help you wait...
-Exchange your dreams for something better...God's perfect plan. His plan is real, dreams aren't.
-Consider how awesome our God is, and trust that awesome power.
-Write down at least ten good things that have come while you wait.
-Rejoice in this time of waiting, God has you waiting for a reason so rejoice in Him for it.
-Don't focus in the waiting, focus on the Lord.
-Learn to lean on God for all your daily burdens and needs, it will help you have for trust and faith in him.

I have some verses for y'all to memorize this week...

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee." (Psalm 84:11-12)

*Some material is taken from "Before you meet Prince Charming" by Sarah Mally and "Just Friends" by Cary Schmidt and Mike Ray*

Some Peaceful Music...

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